Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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I'm relying on news reports that may be inaccurate, so take this with a huge grain of salt. But it was reported that the barge was first spotted 1/4 mile away, and was moving 5 knots. Do the simple arithmetic and you'll see that even if they had made immediate contact, they had only 3 minutes warning. I am not sure a barge could turn that fast. Of course there still is the question of whether there was an appropriate watch, and a guy taking the 5th makes this an even bigger question. But I am sure the investigation will address the obvious question of whether it would have been possible for the barge to steer around the DUKW with 3 minutes warning, since the relevance of the appropriate watch hinges on this question.
The DUKW ramp is directly adjacent to the Ben Franklin Bridge, and you can see that they go right into the shipping channel as soon as they clear the piers. There is no way to avoid the channel from the Philadelphia side of the river.
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, 50 Ton Master and OUPV
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall Landing Marina